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Plinking is a new term that originated from the SF4 series. This was discovered during training mode when Kirbysim noticed in training mode that when two buttons are pressed at slightly different timings, the initial button will display an additional input when the second button is pressed. For example, if you press fierce, then strong right after (next frame), you will see in system input one input for fierce, and another input for fierce AND strong. When you combine this with the idea of move priority where pressing two buttons will always result in the leftmost or bottommost (in standard layout) move to come out (with roundhouse being the leftmost and bottommost, and jab being the weakest), you get the idea of plinking.
Plinking basically means using the game system of allowing multiple inputs from a single button press and priority-assigned normal system to help you link better in SF4.
Because the first pressed button receives additional 'chances' to link, you press that button first and "piano" a few weaker priority moves. This ensures that the first button will be 'pressed' many frames consecutively and will come out at the correct link timing for the combo to work. This made every 1-frame link into a 2-3 frame links and generally made combos much easier in SF4 than any other link-heavy games in the past.
More info available http://www.shoryuken.com/showthread.php?t=186686
Last updated on February 8, 2010 by haunts